Monthly Archives: July 2016
My Packing for Dorm Life post has been, by far, my most popular on this blog. After four years, it still drives the most traffic to my site – 37% of you found Strong Like My Coffee by searching this topic or finding it’s link on Pinterest! After nearly half a million views, I quickly realized that my “Healthy College Girl” theme was resonating with a lot of my readers. Every single summer for the past four years, my blog’s page views sky rocket….the back-to-school preparation begins and my fellow healthy college girls seem to be researching healthy grocery guides, meal ideas, and tips for finding balance in college before heading off to school soon!
I did the same thing. Pinterest was just getting popular right before my freshman year at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. I looked up dorm decorating ideas, ways to increase storage in tiny living spaces, tips on living with a roommate for the first time, and study tips. But what really interested me were the posts on avoiding the notorious Freshman 15, ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle and a social life as a freshman, and advice on fitness and nutrition as a busy college student.
After a couple years as a student-athlete, a lot of what I learned was through trial and error and experience. I navigated my way through campus dining and the all-you-can-eat buffets. Sometimes I made my own healthy salad and other times I gave into Temptation Station…AKA the dessert cart, which was stocked up on every type of cookie, pastry, and donut along with a soft-serve ice cream bar.
Some of the most important points I learned about prioritizing health in college:
- Getting enough quality sleep affects your academic performance, your athletic performance, and the nutrition choices you make throughout the day. Oftentimes when we are tired, we crave instant sugary snacks to boost our energy. Quality sleep keeps your brain sharp, your muscles repaired, and your energy levels more stable.
- Lose the “get my money’s worth” mentality in the dining halls. Quality over quantity.
- Pre-plan your “treat” days. Completely restricting certain foods (like that ice cream bar) will most likely lead to a total binge when you’re having an off day. Planned indulgences will keep you from feeling deprived without totally going overboard.
- It’s not just about diet and exercise; reducing stress is a major component of a healthy lifestyle. There are many stressors in college – roommates, finals, frat boys – which can have an impact on our motivation to workout and the foods we crave. Every finals week, I craved allll the sushi, macaroni and cheese, and frozen yogurt. :) Finding healthy ways to cope with stress is one of the biggest pieces of advice I can offer – one that I am still working on myself, one year post-graduation!
- Alcohol and abs don’t mix. Not to sound like a buzz kill, but alcohol consumption has a drastic impact on our bodies. Beverages contain empty calories of carbs and sugars, but alcohol also has an inflammatory effect on the body. Moderation is key! I definitely enjoyed my 21st birthday and a few fun nights downtown, but I also happily volunteered to be designated driver and substituted fruity water. Balance!
I continued to post content relevant to this theme for the past four years. As I noticed my page views beginning to climb again last week, I thought I would put together a “Round Up” of my favorite Healthy College Girl themed posts in one spot. They are in order of my personal favorite! Each link will open in a new tab :)
- 6 Tips for Navigating Through Campus Dining (Guest blog post for Quest Nutrition)
- Healthy College Girl’s Travel Guide
- Observations from a College Campus Gym
- Healthy Study Snack List
- College Girl Grocery Guide – dorm edition
- College Girl Grocery Guide 2.0 – apartment edition
- College Girl Meal Plan
- List of De-stressors
- Sweet Tooth Cures
- By the Time You Turn 22…
Hopefully you found something helpful here! It’s been a year since I graduated. Now that I’m living 1,000 miles from “home” with a brand new marketing job and real life responsibilities, I feel like I have to “re-learn” my own healthy habits. Post-grad life is mostly just figuring it out through trial and error. Figuring out how to balance the normal adult chores and errands, work, enough sleep, healthy meals, workouts, play time, and whatever surprises come up. Having a supportive family with similar goals certainly helps. Surrounding yourself with positive people is probably one of the most important components of your health.
Let me know what other kinds of content you’d like to see, or any healthy tips of your own! Tomorrow marks my two-month anniversary of moving to Idaho and we have an epic day adventure planned. Full recap on Monday! :)
Now that I work in a marketing agency, I am back to packing breakfasts, lunches and snacks. This company is very progressive, which means they plan lots of fun modern & quirky activities and team-building aspects into their daily culture. We have a cereal bar, and on Wednesday’s we write funny haiku poems. Some people have Nerf guns under their desk and there’s already been a few occasions where dogs are roaming the office. So we also don’t have traditional cubicle-style office spaces. I share a large conference room with six other project managers. We each have our own work station with two monitors and plenty of storage underneath, but there’s no real separation. I’m a fan of this set-up because it makes conversation throughout the day easy, but two things to consider are the lack of barriers for noise and food odor.
I noticed right away that no one seems to eat their meals at their desks, which is super considerate to not bring in food odors (good or bad) to the communal space. My breakfasts tend to be Oatfit oatmeals which have a strong maple smell (it’s delicious!) with added cinnamon, maybe some powdered peanut butter, and sliced banana. My point is, it’s pretty aromatic. In a good way, but still. I realized that if I want to eat breakfast at my desk it better be less obvious for their rest of my office-mates. So I started preparing overnight oats at home, and I’m loving the alternative! Especially during the summer when I don’t necessarily want something hot.
I’m not reinventing the wheel here, as there are hundreds of overnight oat recipes with fun and fancy flavors. There are a couple varieties I’m going to try out next week like carrot cake and mocha swirl.
This batch is made with non-fat Greek yogurt for extra protein, stevia for sweetness, almond milk for consistency, and fresh berries because it’s peak season. Then I whipped up some PBFit (life-changing powdered peanut butter) to make a “PB&J” flavor. Super fun, no?
Lighter Peanut Butter & Jelly Overnight Oats:
Makes 1 serving
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (any milk will due)
- 1/3 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon stevia
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
- fresh berries
- 1 serving of powdered peanut butter made extra thin (I used 2 tablespoons of powder with 1.5 tablespoons water)
1.) Using a large enough container to accommodate the expanding oats, combine the oats, almond milk, yogurt, stevia, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, and flax seed.
2.) Mix together the peanut butter and swirl into the cup of oats.
3.) Top with fresh berries (the juicier, the better!) and I threw on a tablespoon of rice crispies just for fun.
4.) COVER with a lid or foil, and let refrigerate overnight. Enjoy the next morning! :)
Did anyone else ever buy Goober Grape jellies…? We were just talking about these because they were a staple for our camping trips when I was little. It’s a single jar that contains both peanut butter AND jelly in a swirly design and I thought it was the coolest as a kid. It’s got it’s own funky unique flavor and I don’t think I’d enjoy it quite as much now that I have a little higher food-quality standards but it will always remind me of summer camping trips on the beach.
Let me know if you have any favorite overnight oat toppings, and you can find more work snacks and meals here: What’s in My Lunch Box.
Almost a year ago to the day, I took one of the best vacations of my life so far (what I justified as a “graduation present” to myself). As a country-lovin’ girl with a fascination for small town charm, rural areas, east coast beaches and southern accents, I excitedly planned a roadtrip through North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. I still think about that trip at least once a week.
I’m bringing it up again because my mom and I finally started to save all of our pictures from the trip and put them into a scrapbook. We had started our day with a sprints/HIIT workout during sunrise, and after work I had a strength training/plyometrics workout with our trainer for Boise Elite Running. Suffice it to say, I earned my glass of Riesling, which I think heightened my sense of nostalgia over this trip. I may have ended the night by creating a new Pinterest board planning my next southern road-trip (now to decide: autumn or spring?!).
My mom and I planned a girls night to make dinner together, rent a redbox movie, and hang out together. The low-key girls night without workouts, errands, or social stuff was so refreshing since most nights here have been go-go-go. When the sun is out til 10pm, it’s hard to stay home. But then it makes the rare nights with movies and pajamas so much more appreciated! :)
We knew we wanted a healthy dinner so that we could splurge. The most difficult decision: wine or ice cream?!
One of my all-time favorite meals is roasted root vegetables, no matter what time of year. Chopping up the butternut squash is so time-consuming (and slightly dangerous for my fingers) but so worth it. The rest is just chopping up sweet potatoes, zucchini, carrots, onions, apples, brussels sprouts and whatever else you want to throw on the pan. We mix the veggies with a little bit of olive oil and some marjoram spice, garlic and pepper. Roasted at 425 degrees for 50-ish minutes and they come out so warm, caramelized and flavorful. My mouth is watering!
Have you seen Hello, My Name is Doris? We LOVE Sally Field, especially from the old show Brothers & Sisters. This wasn’t my favorite movie but it was still cute. Some parts were so awkward that it was painful to watch, where you just cringe for the main character. I’d give it a 6.5 out of 10 stars, so we had to add an episode of Friends before we went to bed to end the night on a funny note. :)
Nothing super special about our leisure girls night in but sometimes it’s just what you need. Especially when we’re balancing out such adventurous weekends…..cliff jumping and paddle-boarding are on the agenda for the upcoming weekends. We are living more in Idaho than we did in 20 years in California!
Tomorrow morning, I’ll be meeting a friend I made through the running club in a nearby town for a trail run before work. I love driving when it’s so quiet out and running through the sunrise. The first five minutes after the early alarm clock goes off are the worst but thankfully a pot of coffee is waiting for me. And the feeling after a good run through nature is indescribable; you just have to experience it for yourself.
Hope you have some fun plans this weekend & I’ll catch ya back here Monday!